4th October, 2014

The Irish Run the World – Global 5k 2014

“There’s something about an Irish fun run and the Irish Run the World Global 5km had it all. The perfect start to the weekend on a perfect Melbourne day. I really enjoyed my role as Ambassador for the event and seeing so many people smiling as they crossed the finish line. Great support came from Irish communities around the world as we passed the baton onto London to encourage each other to get out and be active knowing that while helping ourselves, The Ireland Funds Young Leaders were also giving back in support of The Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign.”

-Sonia O’Sullivan, Olympic medalist, Ireland.

On Saturday, October 4th, Young Leaders from eleven cities in four countries around the world hosted the inaugural “Young Leaders Global 5K” Presented by KPMG, with the slogan “The Irish Run the World” and the Young Leaders set a goal of raising $100K while connecting with each other and following the virtual passing of the baton on Twitter and Facebook under the hashtag #YLGlobal5K.
The unique race around the world started out in Sydney, Australia where our Young Leaders took advantage of the gorgeous spring weather and joined up with the Parkrun Australia 5K run in Sydney Park in St Peters. Sydney Swans and Kerry GAA star Tommy Walsh came along to cheer on the runners, and Taste Ireland, our Australian sponsor, also did their bit to improve runners’ times by providing a sausage BBQ for participants at the finish line. Karl Keating was the overall winner with a time of 21:49, followed by Martina Simpson who finished in 22:09 and Eamon Eastwood in third at 22:55. Special thanks to event chair Brendan Sheehan for coordinating a brilliant start to the global race. More info and photos

The virtual baton was then “handed” to Melbourne, where the race took place at the Albert Park Lake, home of the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix. Ireland’s legendary Olympian, Sonia O’Sullivan greeted runners and inspired them to go for their personal best. Leading up to the event, Sonia was an incredible ambassador for the event and posted a video promoting the race on The Australian Ireland Fund’s Facebook page. In addition, Sonia signed one of the “Irish Run the World” race shirts which will be framed and auctioned at a future Young Leaders event. More info and photos

Michael McNamara was the overall winner with a time of 19:23 and the apple does not fall far from the tree because the overall female winner was Sonia’s daughter, Sophie.  After the race, a BBQ kicked off in the park and the baton was passed to London. Special thanks to Young Leader Sandra Booth for bringing on Sonia O’Sullivan and leading the team in Melbourne.

The run continued to move around the globe with a rainy morning in London, The Young Leader runners started out in Little Venice and ran along the Grand Union Canal. Following the race, the first place finisher Padraig Sherry led the group to Warwick Castle pub where the fun continued.  Special thanks to Young Leader Marcus Walsh for leading the charge and Laura Quinn for being our resident photographer.

From London, the baton was passed to Dublin where our Young Leaders got together at the Leopardstown Racecourse track for a 5K led by another Irish running legend, Eamonn Coghlan, who was the master of ceremonies and celebrity starter for the Dublin leg of the race. While most runners were out for a morning of fun and fundraising, Young Leader Patrick Kavanagh was all business and crossed the finish line first with a time of just 17:17, which was the fastest time recorded on the day in any city. The fun at Leopardstown continued with the post-race reception at the racecourse pavilion. Special thanks go to Paul McLatchie for all his efforts in making the Dublin leg of the race a success.

The virtual baton crossed the Atlantic and made its next stop in Boston, where the Young Leaders gathered in Davis Square, Somerville, MA and Lauren Smith finished ahead of the group with a time of 21:13. The fun continued as the group headed to PJ Ryan’s pub in Somerville for a post-race celebration. Special thanks to Boston Steering Committee Chair, Chris Hagan.

New York picked up the baton from there, battling the rain and windy conditions to join the Angels Run along the Westside Highway in Manhattan where Brian Devenney won the race and was the first lucky Young Leader to get out of the rain and into the after party at Stone Street Tavern, where Young Leader Croine O’Halloran hosted a brunch for more than 50 people. Special thanks to Mary Gracey of KPMG and Young Leader Tom Kennedy for his organization on the day.

From the Big Apple to Big D, the run picked up in Dallas, where the Young Leaders joined up with the Genesis Women’s Shelter run that started just after the New York run. Richard Brennan was the first member of the group to come through in a time of 26 minutes.  After the race the group headed to the Company Café on the Katy Trail for the post-race celebration.  Special thanks to Young Leader Elaine O’Connor for leading the way in Dallas.

The Baton was then passed from Dallas to DC, where the Washington, DC Young Leaders gathered in Georgetown Waterfront Park for a picturesque run along the banks of the Potomac River. Eric Lucas of KPMG set the pace from the start and finished ahead of the pack. After the race the group took advantage of a gorgeous autumn day and took the short walk to the deck of the at Sequoia bar at Washington Harbour to celebrate a successful running and fundraising campaign. Special thanks to Steering Committee member Drew Walsh for his work in organizing a great day in DC.

The baton was then passed up north to Philadelphia, where the Young Leaders gathered at the world famous “Rocky” statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art and finished the run by climbing to the top of the stairs in true Rocky fashion. The group then headed to Conn Murphy’s Tavern. Special thanks to Young Leader Jason Early for all his efforts leading up to the race and for being the resident photographer on the day.

The baton then headed to Chicago where the “Windy City” was truly windy and cold, but that did not dampen the spirits of the Young Leaders who gathered at Fleet Feet Sports in Old Town and ran through the city streets into Lincoln Park, just off of Lake Michigan. While some stopped to take pictures of the sites along the way, including the Lincoln Park Zoo, Young Leader David Shine was all business and finished well ahead of a crowded field. The group then headed to Corcoran’s pub to toast a successful day and pass the baton on for the final leg of the race. Special thanks to Pat Canning and Darragh Watson of KPMG Chicago for joining us on the day.

Finally the baton headed west to San Francisco for the final and largest leg of the race.  The Young Leaders enjoyed a glorious California day and ran their 5K along the Presidio National Park, right on San Francisco Bay with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Dr. Claire Rafferty played the bag pipes and led the procession to the starting line in full traditional regale. The race was followed by an after party Irish breakfast held on the Presidio grounds with Irish coffee provided by Danny Coyle’s bar and in classic California form, the party then moved on to the beach. Special thanks to Young Leader Ian Casey for his organization leading up to and on the day of the event.

We are proud to report that due to the hard work of our Young Leaders and the generosity of our donors and sponsors, the Young Leaders reached their goal of $100K.

Special thanks to all of our sponsors

especially our Global presenting sponsor KPMG
our Platinum sponsors: ET Kennedy Coastal Construction and Blueface,
our Gold sponsors: Irish Network NYC, Litmos by Callidus Cloud, Silicon Valley Bank, NAB, Office Movers, The Padded Wagon and Standard Access.
Also our Silver sponsors: Bank or Ireland and Aer Lingus.
Additional thanks goes to our Bronze sponsors including: Heineken, Shamrock Moving & Storage, Maguire Hegarty LLC, Shanghai Kellys, Omega Industrial Supply, Stone St Tavern, Danny Coyle’s bar, Deep River Rock water, Tavern Hospitality, Walk About Dog Treats, Clonakilty, Irish Dairy Board, Fleet Feet Sports, The Origin Theater Company and TasteIreland.com.au